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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.




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Finland 7, Singapore 5, Michelle 5, Arnie Duncan 3, Jonathan 3, Education Nation 3, The Union 3, Michelle Rhee 3, Andrea Mitchell 3, Washington 3, South Korea 3, Msnbc 3, Michelle Reed 2, Arianna Huffington 2, Duncan 2, Nasal Allergy 2, Ance 2, Education 2, Employca 2, Big Oil 2,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    September 27, 2010
    1:00 - 1:59pm EDT  

curriculum and a focus on teacher development. like a real overhauling of the teacher evaluation system. >> you cannot say that you support removing ineffective teachers when you fire them and you slap me with the lawsuits and the grievances. >> here today, all the key players will be deciding our children's future. teacher union leader and d.c. school chancellor and star player in the film waiting for super man, michelle reed. secretary of education, arnie duncan. from the bill and melinda gates foundation. >> in the south bronx, my kid who is don't speak english need an extra vocabulary and phonics block. i need extra time to do test prep, but we have a union contract who said the school day is from 8:20 to 3:30. >> live in new york for
education nation. the united states wants a world leader in public education and it's now failing our children. of the world's 34 developed economies, american students ranked 24th in math, 17th in science, 10th in literacy. the public knows this all too well. in the "wall street journal" poll, an astounding 77%, more than 3/4 of the question give our schools a c, d, or an f grade. the man with a daunting challenge is here with me now. education secretary arnie duncan. for for participating in the conversations for education nation. as the key leader, you are showing us the way. let's talk about the rankings. finland, south korea singapore have 100% ratings of getting the top third students to choose to be teachers. we have something like 21% of the top third graduates going into primary education.
how do we change that? >> we have to elevate the profession and make the teach prog fegzprofession. they are getting the hardest working and the best of the best and they are staying there. somewhere along the line, our country lost our way. the teaching profession has been beaten down and sometimes stigmatized. we have to recruit the next generation of talent who wants to come in and has the courage to challenge and give every child a chance to get the great, great education they need and deserve. >> you have a new initiative now today to train 10,000 new math and science teachers. let's talk about that. we are going to see an enormous turn over. in the next decade, we will see half of our teachers retiring. we are talking about 1.8 million teachers turning out of the system. this is a rare opportunity to
change the direction. >> they provide so much leadership here and we have to educate our way to the economy. we have the jobs of today and tomorrow, they are in the stem fields. science and technology and engineering and math. it's hard to learn to love the subjects when you don't have teacher who is know the content. they bring in 10,000 teachers in the fields in math and science. that's going to help us get as a country where we need to go. >> there is a lot of push back. a lot of resistance and many critics say the teacher's union within 40% of americans in the new "wall street journal" poll say the teacher's union is the problem. she will have her say on the program, but the fact is that the teacher's union is putting a cap on charter schools. not that they are the answer, but on the creation of charter schools here in new york. according to michelle wie,
slapped her with lawsuits when she fired student teachers and more are to be fired. is the union. >> we can all point fingers at a million things. unions are not monolithic. i always pointed diane donahue, a courageous moral union leader, head of the delaware student union and they want to race to the top in part because of her phenomenal leadership. new contracts and breakthroughs and management and union working in many, many districts. d.c. being one. philadelphia, new haven, pittsburgh, detroit. you have unions who are leading and some in the middle and some are hesitant. >> some are doing both.
tar are at the same time they said the union is still not. >> it can't just be unions. school boards have to be part of the solution. we dummied down standards. that was politicians. dummying down standards so they look good. bad for children and bad for education and the state. all of us have to move outside and do the right thing by the nation's children. we have to do that. >> secretary duncan, with all due respect, you say that chancellors and school superintendents have to show more leadership. you had a situation in washington, d.c. where the union poured a million to defeating the mayor. the mayor had a lot of other political problems and some people say his personality didn't lend itself to being a meet and greet politician. the white house did not help save school reform where it was
a test case for the nation. >> school reform has to continue to move in d.c. the children deserve that. >> it was a referendum largely on school reform. >> the vast majority stopped them from progressing which it did. i'm a huge supporter of what the mayor did and when it's written a big chunk will be on his leadership. michelle has done a great, great job. moving forward, the children deserve much better. >> did the white house show any courage? they were silent. >> i stood repeatedly with the mayor and we invested $75 million and resores because the district is moving in the right direction. >> some would say the president and the political wing of the white house should have done more to try to save this experiment that now is in jeopardy. >> for will be hard and tough, but the d.c. school children deserve so much more than what they got for decades. all of us have to work to ensure that happens.
>> going back to the examples of finland and south korea and singapore, in those countries, teaching is a higher rated profession than being a doctor or lawyer. teachers are not always paid the highest. they are paid more comparatively than teachers, but it's not just money, but they are tracked from the beginning. their education and the colleges that train teachers here have lower standards than in other countries. how do we -- if there is no silver bullet, how do we get around the fact that america is not competitive with the rest of the world. >> you hit the jail on the head when you said half of the teachers were retiring in to 10 years that. presents huge opportunities. we have to really the country behind this. there is no more important work in our society than teaching. great teachers are the unsung heroes. we have to shine a spotlight and learn from them. we have to give them more resources and incentivize them
to go into the toughest of communities and bring in the next generation. this is a call to service. if young people want to make a difference and want to have an impact, teach suggest game changing. there is nothing more important that we can do than to get a great teacher in every classroom. >> isn't it true that the last hired are the first fired when we have budget cuts and there is great resistance by the tenured teachers to the young idealistic teach for america students? >> we have to do the right thing for the nation's school children. teach for america is not part of the problem. it's a part of the solution. they have done better than anyone else, a great job of bringing in talented folks into education and we have to continue to do more with the baby boomer generation retiring. >> the conversation continues. thank you for everything you are doing. thanks for being here. >> thanks for the opportunity. >> how can unions be part of the solution? one of the questions for
president randy weingarten. >> oprah calls her a warrior woman. d.c. schools chancellor. >> join our conversation about the state of education in america. logon to our website, education this is andrea mitchell reports only on msnbc. i know who works differently than many other allergy medications. hoo? omnaris. [ men ] omnaris -- to the nose! [ man ] did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed, and sore throat. [ inhales deeply ] i told my allergy symptoms to take a hike. omnaris. ask your doctor. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. get omnaris for $11 at big oil and their backers are spending millions to scare us. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. saying it costs too much to break our dependence on oil. what they're really doing is putting our security at risk.
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>> you can't defend a status quo in which a third of our kids are dropping out. you can't defend the status quo when you have schools across the country that are dropout fact y
factori factories. if teachers are not doing a good job, they have got to go. >> he said he delivered the address to the teacher's unions and it hasn't been received. the american federation of teachers, one of the biggest teacher's unions. you have been the one taking all of our questions and i should point out that the other union has been according to most experts much less responsive than the demands for reform. the national education association is silent on the subject. that said, you are here. let's go at it. the president said we need to change the system and unions have to bear responsibility for it. what about the young teacher who told brian williams, i don't need tenure. i can stand on my own. if i do a good job, i will be rehired. what do you say? >> i talked to the young lady afterwards and we started having a conversation and i asked the
teacher's union in new york city to send a rep up to the school and a lot of things the young teacher talked about, needing the books and needing to have the smaller class size and the extra time, we as a union need to help you get there. she said fantastic and great. that's part of the myths that go on. >> let me bring her into the conversation. here's the clip from that conversation. >> i saw that. >> as younger teachers, we don't understand tenure. i don't see a need for it. i have a union rep and when i felt under attack she has been there to protect mement i will do a good job and they will see that and they will hire me again. i don't need a piece of paper that tells me i have to be fired each year. >> isn't she what we need for our kids? >> i love that teacher and i want to bottle her and i want her to teach all throughout
america. >> she could be fired if there was a chopping block. >> we did it with arnie duncan and we tried to not only save jobs, but save the services. this is the real issue here. neither she nor most americans understand tenure. lots of people make tenure something it isn't. tenure is not a job for life. ultimately when an administrator uses an excuse for not evaluating teacher, shame on them. when a union uses it as an excuse for not having a real evaluation system, shame on the union. when ultimately we have to all change to ensure that teachers are judged effectively and treated fairly. i have seen so many young teachers and not so young teacher who is have left systems and not been treated fairly. our attrition rates are 30 to
50%, basically 50% after five years. people have lacked the support. what tenure should be is fundamental fairness. it should not excuse people who are not performing well. that's why as you know and we talked about on this show many time, the first thing we tried to do for the last year and a half is to fundamentally change the observation and evaluation system for teachers. from that has been broken meaning the principal comes in and observes you once a year to that says let's look at improvement for teachers and teacher practice and opportunity learning and see if teachers are doing the job they ought to be doing and let's replicate that which works and get rid of that which does not. >> when are teachers are fire and more to be fired if they don't meet standards, assuming she is still there, let's see what she had to say last night
about what happens. >> we can't say over the problem with charter schools is they only serve some kid when is you are advocating for caps on the eveningive schools. you cannot say we want more resources to go to kids when in this city joel kline is spilling $100 million a year to pay for teachers who are not actually teaching. i get why that's good for the adults. explain how that is good for children. >> how is it good for children? >> ultimately michelle has her facts wrong. i don't want this to to be an issue between michelle and myself. the bottom line is they are trying to eliminate them back in 2004. >> where teachers have been taken from the classroom. >> i tried to eliminate them back in 2004 and i'm glad we have been able to do that. the bottom line is this.
what happened in washington, d.c. is that a moment in time a few months ago. the chancellor, the washington teacher's union, myself and some others who were helping to spearhead this got to a contract. a contract that should have given and should give the tools and conditions that are tools and conditions to management and tools and conditions to teachers. this year when michelle actually fired about 150 people, what the union asked for is just tell us why you fired these folks. in fact last year when she fired about 150 people, i think that was the concern as well. tell us why you fired these folks. >> from a parent and a community perspective, our nation is failing and failing economically because of the failure of public schools and from a parent's perspective, i don't want to wait a year. my kid doesn't have a year to have a failing teacher in charge
of the second grade or the 30 grade. that child will not catch up. >> we agree with you. the issue is let's look at the systems that actually work and what they do. what the systems that work do like in finland and singapore, we study them a lot, they invest in the front end as opposed to sink or swim. >> they're take these young people and say if you test well, the top 8% are going to be teachers and we are going to fund you and test you and keep you going and pay you commensurate with your work and respect you. >> more than the pay is also the conditions. what we are trying to do as the aft, the american federation of teachers, the other thing is the systems that actually are the best in the united states of america are the most densely organized. the systems that are worse are actually the ones that have very few unions.
this issue about bad teachers. if somebody -- those of us who teach, we actually go in to a school within two or three minutes. the issue becomes we have to all of us and i heard secretary duncan say this, we have to do a better job. >> the governor of new jersey said this this morning. let me play it for you and let you respond. >> i watched your show last night. i'm still waiting for you to answer a question. you asked her, what has the union done wrong to contribute to this? i watched it live at 8:00 and watched the replay. i'm still waiting for the answer. >> what have the unions done wrong to contribute to this? >> we have not until this last year or two, we have not been as direct as we want to be about taking on not only the myths of tenure, but the effect of those myths. we should be out there as well
calling for the revamping -- >> it's a barrier to communicate? >> it's a failure of walking away from this too. that's why in the last year, we have been out there calling for an overhaul of evaluations. we know that's the crux of the on the job training. having professional training and real evaluations as opposed to not having any at all. the tenure system becomes a judicial system. it becomes due process. last january after having a lot of our folks look at it, we called for a real evaluation system and we have now been working with 50 or 60 districts doing it in the last year. there has been several new problem-solving contracts that addressed not only evaluation but teacher development turning around. i think our culpability is we were slow to this.
we kept on saying if somebody is not doing our job, let's counsel them out of the profession and deal with it head on and deal with an evaluation system and we have done this and asked ken feinberg to find ways to make due process what it ought to be, not some process, but a fair and quick process. let me say one more thing. everybody else has to take more responsibility too. >> not just the teachers. fair enough. thank you for facing all of the questions today. coming up next, the link between education and economic recovery. arianna huffington weighing in. stay with us for a special hour hosted by tom brocaw. we will have what's called a reverse commencement address. instead of at the end of the school year, he will give it at the beginning of the year. next at 2:00 eastern here on msnbc. replant a forest?
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in only one generation, the united states has fallen from first to 12th. president obama said the future of the economy depends on the ability to fix broken schools. arianna huffington is chief of the huffing post and tackles the education system in third world america. how are politicians abandoning and betraying the american dream. that is say mouthful, but you said it all. tell us about the link between our failing schools and our economy and the it is class most importantly in our economic woes. >> it's a key link. education has been the spring board to the middle class. to learn and get a good job was at the heart of the upward mobility that was the essence of the american dream. that's no longer the case.
right now we have a third of our kids not graduateing for high school. we have basically a new generation that even if they are qualified to go to college, they are having a really harder and harder time getting the financials to go to college. that's the betrayal. >> i want to share with viewers quote from your book. you write if america's public education system were a product, it would have been recalled. if it were a politician, it would have been impeached. if it were a horse it would have been shot. nothing is faster than the failure to properly educate our children. we were talking to the secretary about the fact that south korea and singapore and finland have 100% of their teachers come from the top third of their college graduates. we have terrible numbers.
20 something% of the primary teachers coming from the top third. enormous turnovers in teachers after five years. they are gone. >> the great thing they have right now and this is a beyond left and right issue. you have liberals and conservatives agreeing we need a sense of urgency. we have the media and really engage the way you are. we have this amazing movie waiting for super man that captures the sense of urgency and captures the fact that getting a good education with a game of chance. there is nothing in the movie than watching all the children and their parents desperate to go to a good school who are waiting to see which way the ball will go. whether they will be the luckies to get into a decent school.
that is something which is very unamerican. it goes right against the american dream. with your new book, thank you very much. as you point out, we saw the movie again last night and every time we see it, the audience is just filled with people crying at the passion of those parents and the heart breaking faces of the children. those who failed to win the lottery. >> thank you. >> coming up next on the frontline of the education reform, michelle reed joining us on andrea mitchell reports. stay with us.
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>>. >> as chancellor of the d.c. public schools, michelle rhee is say lightning rod for reform across the nation. she summed up the challenge in the film waiting for super man. >> you wake up every morning and you know that 46,000 kids are
counting on you. most of them are getting a really crappy education right now. >> you think most of the kids in d.c. are getting a crappy education. >> i don't think they are. i know they are. there is a complete and utter lack of accountability for the job we are supposed to be doing which is producing results for kids. >> michelle rhee joins us now. you have been through so much and so plain spoken. crappy education. that's not putting too fine of a point on it. let's talk about just what you have faced. the teacher's union poured a million dollars into the campaign from someone who watched it up close, a referendum on you and school reform. what happened? >> there were a lot of things that happened. a lot of things that we could have had better to make sure we were communicating the reasons
why things were happening. i think when you look at the aftermath of the election and the feedback we got on why they didn't support, a lot of it was he closed down schools and fired teachers. one of the things we didn't do well, we are not firing teachers to be mean or anything like that, but because we are solely focused on making sure kids are getting a great education and children deserve the best teachers in the classroom. >> the evaluation system is not fair and your faxes are wrong in the way you are firing teachers and the way you are evaluating. >> i think it's interesting that she would say that. we used to have a system where the only way that the teacher was evaluated was based on what the principal said. it was subjective. now what we have is a robust evaluation system where 50% is based on data. whether or not the teacher was able to move student achievement
and 40% is based on five observations of their classroom practice. two are done by external evaluators that don't have to do with the school or the principal. 5% is based on overall how the school is doing. there is a team and individual concept and 5% based on softer things like the contributions to school community. it's looking through multiple lenses and it's comprehensive and objective. the fact that she would say for some reason that that was not as good of a system as being 100% subjective like what we had before i find boggling. >> let's see what she had to say last night about what the unions are doing and not doing. >> i think the point of departure between michelle and i may be that i see just like in finland and singapore and other places that we need to all actually work together, focus on struck, focused on how we help people do the best jobs they
can. >> is that the solution? giving them resources? >> it's one of them, absolutely. one of the thing that is the union fails to talk about is the fact that from when i started in this job to now, we have increased the amount of money that we spend on professional development for teachers by 400%. we invested in the resources and the supports for teachers and we are going to continue to do that because that's important. at the same time on the flip side of that, we have to have the accountability. >> in fact d.c. used to and i think still does spends more per pupil and the results are improved under your leadership, but still way behind the rest of the country. money is not the only solution. >> i finger author those people who believe that the solution is throwing more money at the problem are wrong. d.c. used to be a case for exactly the opposite. we did spend more money than any
other jurisdiction in the country and the outcomes were the worst. i think people have to get over this notion that when you don't like the outcomes, what you should do is pour more money into a broken system. all you are going to do is waste that money and get the same outcomes. what you have to do when you are not getting the results you want is actually disrupt and change the system. >> there so many many barriers, but you have a situation in this country where in the next decade, we will replace half of our teachers. what kind of young people or older people will become teachers? if you compare it to these top achieving foreign countries, finland is the best example where 100% of the new teachers come out of the top third graduates. how do we make teaching the high ranking profession that it deserves to be. these are the people who are take care of our children. >> you are right in saying that
it doesn't just have to be young people. it can be professionals and older folks as well. that's one thing they do is bring in recent college graduates and professionals into education. i think fundamentally, if you talk to high achievers, these are people that you probably are friends with, they don't want to do a job where everyone is treated the same regardless of performance. they can go in there and be knocking it out for kids and seeing double the growth than the teacher sitting next to them, but they get paid the same and they are treated in the same way. they want to know they can go into an environment where that f they are producing significant results in their job, they can be recognize and rewarded for that. we have to create the environment that encourages high achieving people to come into it. i think we can do that through some of the measures that we recently put in place in d.c. like performance pay. >> i know that i was raised to
be a teacher and my sister is a teacher and if i hadn't started broadcasting, i would be a teacher. it was when i was growing up, teaching was what you a spider to be, especially as a woman. you knew you couldn't be a doctor or lawyer. >> that's why the quality of teachers used to be phenomenal. a nurse or a teacher. the best and most talented women went into education. now that that has changed, that dynamic change and women have a lot more opportunities, we are in a different situation. that means we have to be more aggressive about this. in the last 24 hours, i have gotten so many e-mails from teachers who were saying thank god you are saying this. this is wonderful. finally someone is telling the truth. what i say back is you have the hardest job in the world. you don't understand how difficult it is to be an effective teacher in a public school district. it is extraordinarily hard and
they deserve to have the recognition that comes with one of the hardest jobs there is. >> for things don't work out for you in d.c., can there be a national movement? >> absolutely. there has to be. i think this conference that nbc is holding, education nation as well as the movie waiting for super man is going to create and already has created a tremendous amount of momentum around this in the country. we will have to find a way to capitalize on the paaddition that people are feeling and quite frankly, a little bit of the terror they are feeling that now is the time we have to do something about the educational system. i absolutely believe it's possible to create a national movement around these issues. >> michelle rhee, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> thanks for being here. up next, dismal graduation rates being tackled by the bill and
melinda gates foundation. to see where your child's school stacks up, check out education this is andrea mitchell reports only on msnbc. r. r. who's your someone? campbell's healthy request can help. low cholesterol, zero grams trans fat, and a healthy level of sodium. it's amazing what soup can do. today, fifteen million men and women won't have the opportunity to go to work.
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americans the tools to thrive in grade school and beyond. the president of the united states program at the gates foundation and joins us here now. you are focusing on college now. getting our students into college and beyond. tell us what the real focus is today. >> it's important to just underscore you have an education crisis in the country. we have a third of our young people dropping out of high school and a third that graduate not ready for college or career. then we have what i would consider a dismal college completion rate. a third don't finish a three-year degree in a time leeway and in two don't finish a-year degree in a time leeway. we are focused on the k-12 and the college completion. >> how can you get better rates? is it the recession and the fact that kids are taking on too many jobs and can't focus on the
education or are the colleges failing? >> the first thing we have to do is make sure that the high schools are graduating more young people ready for college and career. that's one of the important areas of focus. the second e second thing we have to do is recognize the student that we may think we know, the that goes to school full time lives on college campus, those students don't exist at the numbers that they once did. many are working full time and raising a family. the system needs to adapt to meet the needs of those students so they are getting through and to college more quickly on the way to a job that allows them to earn a liveable wage. >> is the problem more on the secondary school side or the college side? we are failing them in junior high and high school so they are not ready for the college experience. or is it once they get to
school? >> it's both. our high schools are not preparing our students to succeed in college. we know what the solution is. we know what matters most to solve the problem. it's effective teaching. that's where it's a good reason to be optimistic. we know if you give a student an effective teacher, they go further faster. when they get to college, we need to make sure they get through college in a time leeway. the supports they need and we need to make sure the types of classes they are taking are th s ones that give them the supports through college. >> the fact is from our i don't know gates foundation studies, 71% of americans earn a high school diploma, but less than 60% for african-americans and hispani hispanics. minority students have a lower
ready of earning a diploma and the fact is that there is a tight nexus between getting that college education and getting a decent job. your earning potential. >> that is absolutely true. we are talking about the american dream and the ability to access that. the gateway is education. we are talking about the competitiveness of our country. if we are not educating our citizens to be competitive in a global economy, we will have significant challenges. we are experiencing some of those even today. >> just finally, what you and the bill and me linta gates foundation are trying to do is help 27,000 students go to college by 2016. amazing goal. thank you so much for all you are doing. >> thank you. >> developing right now, spob about to sign the small business jobs act into law.
$12 billion in tax breaks. coming up next, the groundbreaking documentary fueling the debate on education reform. we will talk to two journalists featured in "waiting for superman." replant a forest? maybe you want to rebuild homes for those in need? or, maybe you want to help improve our schools? whatever you want to do, members project from american express can help you take the first step. vote, volunteer or donate for the causes you believe in at take charge of making a difference. ♪ [ upbeat instrumental ] [ rattling ]
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and it's obviously difficult to watch to see the kids who know this school is going to give them a better chance than
should depend on the bounce of a ball. >> president obama today with nbc's matt lauer reacting to the eye opening and emotionally compelling documentary "waiting for superman." our next two guests both appear in the film. jonathan alter is author of "the promise." welcome to both of you. we've been talking about the movie and its impact. first to you, jonathan, because you have been covering the broader, you know, issue of the obama white house and the transition in "the promise." he focuses on education, but do you think that the white house is as engaged as it needs to be in education? >> actually i do. this is one area where the obama administration has exceeded my expectatio expectations. i was critical of senator obama during the 2008 campaign.
i didn't he was pushing hard enough on the education reform issues that jay and i have been writing about for so many years. after he was sworn in, he and arne duncan moved very quickly to implement a tremendously great innovation called reach to the top. it's generated more reform than we've seen in years ch none of this is covered in the movie, by the way. this is all stuff that's happened, good things that have happened in the reform area since the movie was shot. so people who tend to leave the movie crying, which a lot of folks do, should remember there are very exciting things going on in the education reform movement right now. >> but, of course, jay, it's so incremental when you see the size of the problem and the comparisons we've been citing with other countries, with finland, south korea and singapore. we are so far behind in all of
the data points. how do we close the gap? especially at what some people feel could be a tipping point? nearly half of our teachers turning over in the next decade. >> we are at a critical point. most of us lack faith in the capacity of your young people to learn as much as they can learn. those districts that have seen great progress have blown aside fears of putting too much stress on kids, having kids in school too long, and realize if they give kids extra time and encouragement to learn, with great teaching they learn much more. that's a problem haul the way up the line from the poor schools to the best schools. the average american college student reports back in high school they did more than an hour of homework a night. they're not under mush stress. we should give our kids more chance to get in deep and do what we know they can do. we need better training of eachers. we need better appointment of
principa principals, who are key to the change, and our school boards and our superintendents who drop the ball by not picking carefully the best principals. >> when we have school board and chancellors and mayors or other officials who have been willing to take up that challenge, jonathan, they face obstacles. and some of the the obstacles are political unions who contribute millions of dollars who candidates and who have contributed to this white house. >> yes, there are huge obstacles that sometimes is called the blob, the collection of school boards, superintendents and unions that are focused on adult interest groups, rather than kids. it's hard to believe, but for generations now all the adults have done what's good for them, and the kids have been secondary. but one of the great exciting things is that finally the democratic party, after having been in the pocket of the teachers unions for so many
years is now having a fascinating internal division over this where you have on one side the obama administration and a dynamic group of education reformers. young democratic mayors like corey booker in newark and others. and on the other side you have the forces of the status quo. so it's a battle royale, andrea. we'll see how it plays out. it's a fascinating political story. the same way only richard nixon, a conservative republican president could go and open the door to communist china, only barack obama, a liberal democratic president can take on the teachers unions and win. you've already seen movement. the american federation of teachers endorsed a fan that's tick teacher tenure bill in colorado. the national education association has dug in, and they are a huge impediment to real reform. >> jay, what is going to happen with the nea.
everybody is beating up on randy. they have at least sat down and negotiated the contracts with d.c. and colorado. what about the national education association. >> randy is one of the smartest labor unions i've ever seen. she senses her membership is changing. younger teachers that can make a huge difference if they believe more in their ability to learn at a higher level. their membership is changing. there's a new generation of teachers coming up who have seen how things can really work if you give more time to kids and more higher standards. that will change them from the bottom up, not the top down. >> is this a i political campaign in the election? sh this something the politicians have yet to focus on? >> i don't think it will be a big issue in the midterms. but it's ripening as a big issue
for 2012. as so many of your guests have been saying, this is dead scepter in the future of our country. so much is at stake. our whole economic future and standard of living is at stake. i think more and more americans are beginning to realize that. >> jay, one thing we've noticed in our polling is that people are disgusted with this. the nbc news wall street journal poll had 77% gave our schools a failing grade or a "c" or a "d." that isn't good enough. >> that's a quick answer to a quick question. people haven't thought carefully about the schools. they have to think carefully about the fact that the schools feed to give the kids more to learn and not stress them out. >> thank you both. that does it for this edition. tomorrow on the show, the special series on education continues with boston mayor, the reverend al sharpton and a global expert on education reform. up next, we have a very special hour. we're going to go to more of education nation. this is an hou